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Deceptive marketing practices—Cases and outcomes

Below is a searchable table listing all cases that were made public by the Competition Bureau since 2015 and their outcomes. For more information on a case, click the link in the table.

If you cannot find the case you're looking for, you may also consult the following lists:

Deceptive Marketing Practices – Cases and outcomes
Date Product/Service Company/Individual Issue Status/Outcome Hidden Search Terms
January 6, 2022 Single-use coffee pods Keurig Canada Allegations of false or misleading environmental claims about the recyclability of single-use coffee pods The company agreed to pay a $3 million penalty, donate $800,000 to a Canadian charitable organisation and pay $500,000 for the costs of the Bureau’s investigation
Keurig Canada, coffee pod, coffee pod recycling, coffee pod recycling claims
July 9, 2021 Pandemic-related benefit programs Canada Tax Reviews Allegations of false or misleading practices regarding government benefit programs implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic The Federal Court of Canada ordered Canada Tax Reviews to produce records and information relevant to the Bureau’s investigation. Canada Tax Reviews, Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canada Recovery Benefit
June 14, 2021 Telemarketing Online business directories Terry Croteau Allegation of using deceptive telemarketing and false or misleading statements to get businesses to sign up for listings in online directories Multiple criminal charges were laid against Terry Croteau. criminal charges, Terry Croteau, business directories
February 24, 2021 Online flight-booking services FlightHub Allegations of hidden fees, authoring positive consumer reviews and numerous false or misleading price claims The company agreed to pay a $5 million penalty, and two company directors have agreed to penalties of $400,000 each. FlightHub, hidden fees, false online reviews
January 28, 2021 Free trial offers Revive You Media (1806369 Alberta Limited) Company pleaded guilty to operating a deceptive trial offer scheme that trapped consumers into monthly subscriptions The company was fined $15 million and is subject to a ten-year court order prohibiting it from any direct or indirect involvement in promoting deceptive trial offers. deceptive trial offer scheme, Revive You Media, 1806369 Alberta Limited
November 17, 2020 Sport equipment True Sport Allegations of performance claims not based on adequate and proper tests The company agreed to cease all claims at issue and donate $100,000 in equipment to support youth sports. TRUE hockey helmets, ice hockey helmets, TRUE Sports Inc.
May 19, 2020 Social media Facebook Allegations of false or misleading claims about the disclosure of personal information on Facebook and Messenger The company agreed to pay a $9 million penalty and $500,000 for the costs of the Bureau’s investigation. Facebook and Messenger, Facebook, personal information
May 13, 2020 Natural health products NuvoCare Allegations of unsubstantiated weight loss and fat burning claims NuvoCare agreed to enter into a temporary consent agreement to prevent potential harm to consumers while the Bureau completes its ongoing investigation. (see pleading no. 47) NuvoCare, weight loss, weight loss claims
February 13, 2020 Online ticket sales StubHub Allegations of false or misleading pricing claims: additional mandatory fees during the later stages of the purchasing process The company agreed to pay a $1.3 million penalty. (see pleading no. 2) StubHub,
June 27, 2019 Online ticket sales Ticketmaster Allegations of misleading pricing claims: additional mandatory fees during the later stages of the purchasing process The company agreed to pay a $4 million penalty and $500,000 for costs incurred by the Bureau during its investigation. tickets, Live Nation, fees
May 8, 2019 Retail sleep sets Hudson’s Bay Allegations of deceptive regular price claims and clearance promotions The company agreed to pay a $4 million administrative penalty and $500,000 for the costs of the Bureau’s investigation. mattress, pricing, clearance
April 11, 2019 Telecommunications services Bell Allegations of false and misleading claims made when promoting the supply of its residential services The investigation into Bell was discontinued. telephone, internet, pricing
October 11, 2018 Car rental Discount Car & Truck Rentals Ltd. Allegations of false or misleading representations regarding fees and discounts on car rentals The company agreed to pay a penalty of $700,000 and review its practices to ensure ads comply with the law. automobiles, rental, fees
March 26, 2018 Office supplies and medical kits Randolph Misiurak, Global Electronic Solutions and Federal Emergency Medical Supply Fraudulent telemarketing tactics The individual was sentenced to 2 years less a day in jail and 3 years of probation. supplies, regulations, government
February 22, 2018 Car rental Enterprise Rent-a-Car Canada Allegations of false or misleading claims regarding pricing of car rentals The company agreed to pay a penalty of $1 million and review its practices to ensure ads comply with the law. automobiles, rental, fees
February 20, 2018 Retail furniture and home appliances Leon’s Allegations of deceptive advertising of payment financing plans The company agreed to donate $750,000 worth of home furnishings to Canadian charities. fees, processing, administrative
February 20, 2018 Retail furniture and home appliances The Brick Allegations of deceptive advertising of payment financing plans The company agreed to donate $750,000 worth of home furnishings to Canadian charities. fees, processing, administrative
January 12, 2018 Automobile (3.0 litre diesel engine) Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche Allegations of false or misleading environmental marketing claims The companies agreed to pay a penalty of $2.5 million. diesel, emissions, compliance
January 10, 2018 Electronic muscle stimulation devices Thane Canada Inc. Allegations of performance claims not based on adequate and proper tests The company agreed to pay a penalty of $350,000 and not to market electronic muscle stimulation services for 10 years. ems, muscle, testing
September 28, 2017 Television antenna John Dragan, JD Marvel, and CDN Mail Order False representations and deceptive marketing practices Sentenced to 18 months in prison and prohibited for a period of five years from selling goods to consumers where they cannot see the product before purchase. delivery, clear vue, deceptive
May 24, 2017 Directory listing Thompson Hill Publishing, Marc Lefebvre, Karl Garon Deceptive telemarketing and false or misleading claims Pleaded guilty and was fined $180,000. The company and two of its managers, Marc Lefebvre and Karl Garon, were prohibited from any telemarketing activities for five years. directory listings, call centres, business
April 24, 2017 Car rental Hertz and Dollar Thrifty Allegations of false or misleading claims regarding pricing of car rentals The company agreed to pay a penalty of $1.25 million and review its practices to ensure ads comply with the law. automobiles, rental, fees
February 7, 2017 Subscription to online directories Mega Byte Information, Georges Haligua Deceptive telemarketing targeting businesses in Canada, the United States, and Europe Company pleaded guilty and was fined $450,000. The company president, Georges Haligua, was prohibited from engaging in telemarketing for 10 years. pre-authorized, renewal, legislation
January 11, 2017 Online retail Amazon Allegations of misleading pricing practices The company agreed to pay a penalty of $1 million, change its pricing practices and pay $100,000 toward the cost of the Bureau’s investigation. list price, representation, market
December 19, 2016 Automobile (2.0 litre diesel engine) Volkswagen Canada and Audi Canada Allegations of false or misleading environmental claims The companies agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $15 million. diesel, emissions, compliance
October 28, 2016 Office supplies and medical kits Jacqueline Kolthoff, Global Electronic Solutions, and Federal Emergency Medical Supply Deceptive telemarketing Sentenced to 16 months of imprisonment (8 months under house arrest and 8 months under curfew) and prohibited from engaging in telemarketing for 10 years. pre-authorized, renewal, legislation
September 13, 2016 Telecommunications services Comwave Networks Allegations of false or misleading claims regarding charges and level of service for Internet and home phone connections The company agreed to pay a penalty of $300,000 and $60,000 toward the Bureau’s investigation costs. price, representation, fees
June 2, 2016 Car rental Avis/Budget Allegations of false or misleading claims regarding pricing of car rentals The company agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $3 million and $250,000 toward the Bureau’s investigation costs. unattainable, accurate, fees
May 17, 2016 Telecommunications services Bell Mobility Allegations of false or misleading representations to customer in third-party ads for premium text messaging and services and charging for these services without customer authorization The company agreed to provide $11.82 million in customer rebates/credits, donate $800,000 to public interest digital media research, publish a notice to affected customers, and develop a consumer awareness campaign. providers, text, messaging
May 27, 2016 Telecommunications services Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) Allegations of false or misleading representations to customers in third-party ads for premium text messaging services and charging for these services without customer authorization As part of the settlement, the CWTA agreed to develop a consumer awareness campaign, issue a public notice to affected customers, and implement an internal corporate compliance program with a specific focus on “billing on behalf of” practices. providers, text, messaging
December 7, 2016 Outerwear manufacturing Moose Knuckles Concerns over “Made in Canada” claims (advertising and labelling) The company agreed to donate $750,000 to Canadian charities and display a corrective notice. parka, fabrication, qualificatif
December 30, 2015 Telecommunications services Telus Allegations of false of misleading representations in third party advertisements for premium text messages in pop-up ads, apps, and on social media The company agreed to offer rebates of up to $7.34 million to current and former wireless customers and donate $250,000 to Ryerson University, Éducaloi, and l’Université de Montréal. Koodo, text messaging, rates
December 21, 2015 Sport equipment Reebok-CCM Allegations that certain performance claims not based on adequate and proper tests The company agreed to remove or modify certain performance claim, donate $475,000 to a Canadian charity, and pay $30,000 toward the cost of the Bureau’s investigation. helmet, resistance, performance
October 14, 2015 Telecommunications services Bell Allegation that reviews poste by certain Bell employees created the general impression that they were made by independent and impartial consumers The company agreed to pay a penalty of $1,250,000 and to enhance and maintain its corporate compliance program. review, employee, false
June 23, 2015 Subscription to online directories Amalia DiFalco, Éric Chenail, Carl Rubat-Du-Mérac Deceptive telemarketing targeting businesses in Canada, the United States, and Europe. These individuals pleaded guilty and received fines totalling $60,000, conditional sentences totalling 21 months, a total of 470 hours of community service and made a $5000 charitable donation. pre-authorized, renewal, legislation
May 6, 2015 Retail Michaels Allegations of misrepresentation in price advertising of frames and custom framing services. The company agreed to pay a penalty of $3.5 million and to establish a corporate compliance program. review, employee, false
March 16, 2015 Telecommunications services Rogers Allegations of false or misleading representations in third party advertisements for premium test messages in pop-up ads, apps and on social media The company agreed to pay $5.42 million in refunds to consumers; to cease billing for premium text messaging services unless the customer has approved the charges, create a consumer awareness campaign, and enhance its corporate compliance program. text messaging, billing, third party
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